A Burger King restaurant in Berlin.

  • Burger King's global chief marketing officer said he is sorry about how a company tweet came across.
  • The tweet, which read "women belong in the kitchen," was a "mistake," Burger King said.
  • Burger King launched a scholarship to help women get into the culinary arts and become head chefs.
  • Visit Business Insider for more stories.

Burger King apologized for a tweet stating that "women belong in the kitchen" on Monday after receiving criticism on social media.

The fast-food chain tweeted the message on International Women's Day as part of its launch of an initiative to help increase the number of women in head-chef roles. But many on Twitter said the company's initial tweet, which was followed in a thread by an explanation of its initiative, was tone deaf. Some told the Burger King UK account to delete the tweet, and others vowed to not eat at the chain anymore.

Following the backlash, the company said in an emailed statement to Insider that, "Our tweet in the UK today was designed to draw attention to the fact that only a small percentage of chefs and head chefs are women. It was our mistake to not include the full explanation in our initial tweet and have adjusted our activity moving forward because we're sure that when people read the entirety of our commitment, they will share our belief in this important opportunity."

Global Chief Marketing Officer Fer Machado said on Twitter the company is "indeed sorry" about how the tweet came across. "The intention behind the activity is actually good. Taking it down would give even more attention to it. Believe it or not I deeply care about doing the right thing. Will do better nxt time," he said.

In its emailed statement, the company said it is committed to helping women break through the male-dominated culinary culture in the world's fine dining restaurants. It's doing this by creating the Burger King Helping Equalize Restaurants, or HER, scholarship to support employees pursue a degree in culinary arts.

"This is a start in doing our small part to help women in the culinary field achieve their ultimate goal," the company said in the press release, adding that women occupy only 7% of head-chef positions in restaurants.

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